Navigating the relationship between leadership and productivity can be tricky sometimes. On the one hand, great leaders can’t make their people more productive—and attempting to do so can often backfire. At the same time, real leadership should manifest in a team that’s more engaged, more proactive, more creative—in short, more eager to get stuff done!
Let’s take just a few minutes to tackle this complicated relationship head-on. Without being a micromanager and without being a taskmaster, how can you become the kind of leader who motivates employees toward higher and higher productivity?
How Transformational Leaders Foster Productivity
Give Your Employees Real Challenges.
There’s a view among some leaders that the best approach is to shield employees from real challenges as much as possible. I highly disagree. In fact, I think one of the best ways to get more out of your employees is to really stretch them.
And studies tend to back this up. A lot of employees say the thing that matters most to them is finding work that challenges them. And when employees leave a company, they often say it’s because they’re not being sufficiently challenged.
Simply put, when you keep employees in the safety of their comfort zone, they tend to check out. The work they turn in can become rote. But when you give them reason to think, to problem-solve, to collaborate together, and to develop new skills… that can be exciting. And it can result in more work getting done.
Offer Real Freedom
Remember what I said about not being a micromanager?
Well, it’s really an important aspect of getting good, productive work out of your team. It goes back to the idea of giving your people something that stimulates and engages—something that allows them to tap into their various talents.
Giving everyone a recipe to follow, step by step, is a good way to make your employees bored. But offering a goal and some basic parameters, then allowing them the autonomy to figure out the rest, that’s where you can encourage meaningful work.
Provide Them Some Time
Imagine this scenario: You assign your team a big project, and ask them to have it done within the next two workdays.
Then, you immediately load them up with meetings and conference calls that are completely irrelevant to the task, forcing them to scrape the project together during stolen moments here and there.
That sounds like an exaggerated example, but it’s not much of one. One of the biggest problems I see among team leaders is this compulsion to task-switch throughout the day rather than allowing several hours of uninterrupted, creative time.
As a leader, this may be the only way you can get all your work done—but your employees really need some time set aside to think and to create.
Make sure you’re offering it to them.
Allow Them Some Space
One more component that I truly think is critical to fostering productive teams? Physical space.
Give your team members plenty of options here—a number of spaces where they can gather to collaborate or to have some privacy.
If your offices can’t accommodate this, be willing to let your employees work off-campus when they need to.
Transformational Leaders Create Productive Teams
When you’re a transformational leader, it impacts everyone around you– and hopefully, it results in an employee base that is not just more highly engaged, but also more productive.
I’d love to talk more with you about what it means to be a transformational leader. Don’t hesitate to reach out at any time! Contact Dr. Rick and his team at firstname.lastname@example.org or call directly at 888-267-6098, and let’s chat!
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